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Meet Carlton Dossou

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlton Dossou.

Hi Carlton, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi I’m Carlton Dossou! I’m from here in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Mid City and I’m an aspiring poet. Writing poetry has always been something I’ve done. As far back as middle school, I can remember writing little poems here and there. However, I started taking my writing seriously in 2019. The writing was and still is an outlet for me to express my feelings due to me being a person that keeps it all in instead of vocalizing them as others would. Covid and quarantine was the turning point for me. During this time is where I got to where I am. With nothing to do the notes app and I became best friends. By the end of the year, I had over 30 poems done. After sharing some with friends, they convinced me to start posting them on my Instagram. Although I was very hesitant. The first one I posted was a piece called “You” and the love that I got was what encouraged me to keep writing and posting them.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The biggest challenge for me was getting out of my way when I first started posting. I was my biggest hater at times. This is because I tend to overthink the things I do. I want everything I do to be as close to perfect as it can be. There’d be times I’d convince myself my poems weren’t good because they weren’t getting a lot of likes. However, I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t do that anymore because that doesn’t matter. I reminded myself that I don’t write for likes. I write to express myself and to hopefully make someone who does read it feel a little better. Or maybe remind them they’re not the only one going through what they’re going through.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I write poetry that I call my “written thoughts”. I refer to these different “written thoughts” as pieces like a painter would refer to their art.

I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I never wanted to ever put any of my pieces out there. Then to start doing that and receive all the love that I’ve gotten from each post I’ve posted has been so great. To now have this opportunity to be interviewed for pieces that I put so much of myself into means so much because this never would’ve happened in any of my wildest dreams.

I think what sets me apart is that I’m authentic and not afraid to write about anything. I write about everything and anything. Social Injustice, Love, Rejection, Personal struggles, etc. If it means something to me I write about it. I also don’t want to write like anyone else. I don’t try to write like Shihan or other famous poets. I write like me and only me. I could care less about becoming famous. I want to not only help myself with my pieces but also the people who read them. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s just one person or a million people.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Believe in yourself. There will be times that you won’t but you’ll get through it. Those times will teach you so much that will make you not just a better creative but more importantly a better person. Get a great support system. A group of people family, friends, girlfriend/boyfriend doesn’t matter who. It can be a support system composed of if one or many doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they have your back one matter what. They’ll tell what you need to hear not what you want to hear. They’ll be your biggest fans when you aren’t a fan of yourself. That’ll help you so much.

I wish I knew that expressing myself was a good thing before starting. That it wasn’t a “girly” thing or a non-masculine thing to do. I wish I started taking my writing seriously much earlier. Writing has done so much good for me and I don’t know where I’d be without it.

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